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Federal Judge Bars Instant Publishing of Analysts' Stock Tips 133

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-say-that-just-yet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Big Banking firms Barclay's Capital, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch successfully obtained an injunction against theflyonthewall.com, Inc., preventing them from immediately publishing the firms' stock upgrades and downgrades. This case could have far-reaching consequences concerning internet communication and publication of news." Here's some interesting analysis from Paul Levy, via Dave Farber's Interesting People list.
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Federal Judge Bars Instant Publishing of Analysts' Stock Tips

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  • I'm having a brain fart at the moment. Anyone care to explain to a noob what kind of implications this could have?

    • by peragrin (659227)

      it would turn every trader into a day trader.

      of course the majority already are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DJRumpy (1345787)

      I'm not stock monkey either, but I think this has to do with freedom of information. Specifically that once Morgan Stanley publishes their stock upgrades and downgrades, it's pretty much public information. That fact that this information has been barred is the item of interest.

      From the Morgan/Stanley side, it might be appropriate to call it a trade secret. From the end user side, it becomes common knowledge so unless there are agreements with each user not to leak the knowledge, it seems like this law is i

      • by hedwards (940851) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:18PM (#31546000)
        Sort of like the trade secret that the big boys get to buy on a current price knowing what it will be in a short period of time. Wall Street really is filled with crooks and thieves. Barring analyst recommendations from being published in that respect is largely pointless. The recommendations are for institutions anyways, and are not generally made on any basis useful to the small time investor.
      • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@y a h o o . c om> on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:54PM (#31546564) Journal

        Specifically that once Morgan Stanley publishes their stock upgrades and downgrades, it's pretty much public information.

        That's not what was happening. Theflyonthewall.com was publishing information before it was made available, so that their subscribers could benefit from it before the clients of Morgan-Stanley et al.

      • by pete6677 (681676)

        And as we all know, its wrong to have insider information... unless you are a high roller.

      • The judiciary can't have it both ways when the Supreme Court is promoting an extreme interpretation of the First Amendment (i.e. unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns are OK).

        Either the court system recognizes justifiable mitigation of an enumerated Right in order to prevent other Rights from being undermined by it, or they don't. What we heard from SCOTUS in 'Citizens United' was that free speech is absolute, so no more controls on obscenity, defamation, incitement, threats, etc. ...and no c

        • The judiciary can't have it both ways when the Supreme Court is promoting an extreme interpretation of the First Amendment (i.e. unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns are OK).

          Sure they can. They're judges, and they don't always look at the big picture. The only possibility of making them eat some crow is an appeal.

    • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:44PM (#31545658) Homepage
      Basically, this company was publishing the results of various investment bank's research before their clients could read and act upon it. The legal reasoning behind it could equally be applied to Google News republishing other people's headlines, for example. More seriously, it means that effectively, you now have a sort of "copyright" created by the courts on factual information that you possess. I leave it to slashdotters to come up with ways this might be abused....
      • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:08PM (#31545908)

        It appears that theyflyonthewall.com can appeal after one year. Apparently the judge saw the fact that the bar was basically making up for lack of security on the financial institutions part.

        From TFA: "The judge said Theflyonthewall.com may apply in one year to lift the injunction if the banks do not take reasonable steps to halt the unauthorized distribution of research."

        • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @12:57AM (#31547412)

          So the judge knows the actual barring is baseless, but is doing it to protect these rich banks and their advantages for long enough for them to fix their leaks.

          I thought judges were here to uphold laws, not temporally wipe their ass with the 1st amendment in favor of big banks.

        • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @01:48AM (#31547612)

          There was a case, something like "WWW Communications v. INS," where WWW and INS were both news organizations/aggregators in World War I. One was basically scraping the others' content, reading its headlines on the east coast and selling them on the west coast the same day that the information came out. The Court said that the scrapers were "attempting to reap what they did not sow," I think, creating a sort of prepossessory property interest in the information.

          The idea is that if a domain scraper can copy all news content on the web, take away the advertisements, and not pay anyone for it, then there won't be an incentive for people to go to the effort to gather the news in the first place. It was obviously more legitimate in the pre-digital age, and doubly so during a world war, when it was MASSIVELY difficult to assemble transcontinental news on a daily basis, but the point still stands to some degree.

      • Not really like Google News because Google only crawls headlines that are published on public web sites, obeys robots.txt, only crawls subscription only sites with permission etc.

        The critical element here seems to be that the stuff was being reported before all the paying clients saw it. It is more as though Google bought subscriptions as an ordinary user and used those login details to spider a site behind a pay wall.

      • Well someone had time to act on it ... otherwise it wouldn't be leaked. The leaks are pure pump and dump, it simply works best if the "information" is widely disseminated immediately rather than staggered. If it's done staggered buying/dumping frenzies are less extreme.

        Analyst reports are mostly pump and dump schemes to begin with of course, this is just a little meta pump and dump scheme on top.

      • by iamwahoo2 (594922)
        This was new to me, so I looked up this "systematic misappropriation" that was cited by the judge. Turns out that this has absolutely nothing to do with copyright. It is based on the The Doctrine of Misappropriation [harvard.edu]. It is wild, but this is in essence a law created entirely by the judiciary. It is not like other cases where the judiciary is accused of stretching the constitution to the extreme. In this case, the judiciary literally created the law out of nothing.
    • by dnnrly (120163)

      The short answer is money.

      The long answer is that traders start at 7am by reading reports and recomendations.

      They traders make decisions about what they will trade and what position they will take early on based on this information.
      They will pay a LOT of money to money to get this information as early as possible.
      The information providers want to be able to sell this valuable data and analysis.

      This won't affect day traders so much, who try to squeeze trades in between the various peaks and troughs in prices

    • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:18PM (#31546382)

      The whole point of having a stock market is to get money to the people who can make the best use of it. What this ruling does, as far as I can tell, is impede that process by preventing the dissemination of useful information about who can make the best use of investment capital. In short, while this might or might not be a good ruling from the standpoint of enforcing the law as it exists today, it runs completely counter to the whole point of having a stock market. There should be absolutely no impediment to disseminating as widely as possible information about publicly traded stocks unless it is for an exceptionally good reason (like national security level good).
      Going even further, by restricting information like this they are essentially allowing the major players in the stock market to manipulate stock prices. I tell my clients that I will claim stock X will go up and the market listens to me. I do this in such a way that my clients can by their stocks first. Stock goes up because I say it will and I'm a major player. Then my clients sell their stock making a nice tidy profit, all the while I have less incentive to provide good advice because assuming I'm even vaguely plausible this scheme will work. The law is protecting this kind of thing when it should be prohibiting it!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        What this ruling does, as far as I can tell, is impede that process by preventing the dissemination of useful information about who can make the best use of investment capital.

        It's not information (in the sense of facts), it's opinion and analysis. Opinion and analysis that the bank has paid money to have performed. It seems perfectly reasonable therefore for them to restrict access to it.

        Typical crapdot summary. It has nothing to do with "publication of news" at all.

        • I have no problem with them restricting access to the information. If they do nothing which requires them to make the information public then they can keep it to themselves (and their clients who agree to sign a contract not to disclose the information).

          The problem is they want to in effect manipulate the market by keeping the information secret initially, do their trading (or allow their clients to do their trading), then release the information which pumps up the stocks they just bought.

    • The "criminal" sites move to offshore hosts. Business as usual by Monday. A couple weeks at the latest if they're totally incompetent.

    • I'm having a brain fart at the moment. Anyone care to explain to a noob what kind of implications this could have?

      It means the first amendment doesn't matter when rich people want to maintain an advantage.

  • Trade Secrets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alaren (682568) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:45PM (#31545668)

    I haven't read the ruling--just the article, which does not mention trade secrets--but the word "misappropriation" suggests to me that this case was decided under a trade secrets analysis (or something similar under a federal securities regulation of some kind). Reading between the lines, it looks like theflyonthewall.com was engaged in soliciting "leaks" and publishing them before the information could be communicated to clients.

    The current (well-supported) suspicion of banks and stock traders gives the whole article a sinister patina, e.g. "the banks were keeping upgrades and downgrades secret, but theflyonthewall was exposing the information before the brandy-and-cigars set could fully exploit it!"

    But if we put momentarily overlook Wall Street's well-earned reputation for behaving as clannish and psychotic as possible, the solicitation and publication of trade secrets (or the like) is generally frowned upon. I think there are some interest public interest/private interest issues raised by the practices involved, but it doesn't appear to have any legal implications for online information providers generally--just those who obtain their information in inappropriate ways.

    • No, insider trading (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gr8_phk (621180) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:55PM (#31545776)
      It's not a trade secret when you share ratings with your clients several hours before you release information to the public. From TFA:

      This time frame preserves incentives for the firms to create and disseminate research reports to their investor clients, while still recognizing the inevitable, fast-moving, and widespread informal communication of recommendation on Wall Street.

      Obviously these reports will affect prices, so you tell clients, wait a bit so they can react, and then tell the public. That's market manipulation plain and simple. A more fair ruling would say they have to release the reports publicly at the same time they tell their clients. But then this is a Manhattan federal judge who knows who he works for ;-)

      • by Alaren (682568) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:14PM (#31545956)

        A more fair ruling would say they have to release the reports publicly at the same time they tell their clients.

        At which point they would no longer have any clients. Why pay for the report when the report is free? And then--why generate the report if no one will pay for it?

        I was wrong about the legal analysis, but right about the fact that there is nothing sinister going on here. I'm not a fan of Wall Street OR the "hot news" doctrine, but I enjoyed reading this opinion. I think the court ultimately got it right.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hedwards (940851)
          On what basis? What you're suggesting is that insider trading isn't wrong or horribly damaging to the functioning of the markets. It's basically just a variation on the pump and dump stock scams dressed up to look legitimate. People buy and sell when the ratings change, despite there being no good reason to base it on a change of ratings.

          You can gussy it up all you like, but it's definitely not behavior which should be allowed if we're to have a stock market that functions as anything other than an elabo
          • by Alaren (682568) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:43PM (#31546172)

            On the basis of the law that the court was bound to apply by the legislative bodies that created it.

            More generally:

            People buy and sell when the ratings change, despite there being no good reason to base it on a change of ratings.

            Are you saying ratings should be illegal? Or are you saying they should be public information from the word go?

            Because if you're saying ratings should be illegal, you're going to have to come up with a better reason than, "they can be manipulated to unfair advantage." Insider trading is a big no-no and people do go to jail for it. Not to mention the public service that is (now, somewhat more belatedly) furnished by the rating process.

            But if you're saying the ratings should be made available to everyone simultaneously, what you're really asking is for the banks to stop preparing these reports--because their subscribers incetivize report preparation. You're arguing for socializing the market to make it "fair." And while I agree that the market has a lot of problems, I don't think turning it into "the people's market" is the right answer.

            And I wouldn't equate "explaining the realities of (semi-)free market investing" with "gussy[ing] it up."

          • by Fjandr (66656) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:48PM (#31546206) Homepage Journal

            This is not a case of insider trading, it is aggregation and analysis of publicly available information being used to facilitate smarter trading amongst their clients. Most of those clients are long-term investors, and insider information is almost exclusively used for short-term gains. While there may be overlap in legal and illegal activity among firms and clients, there isn't really a case to be made that this is an example of that sort of thing.

            Yes, there is a lot of scummy behavior on Wall Street. It helps to not be confused as to what terms like "insider trading" actually mean when discussing it though, because it detracts from actual meaningful discussion.

            • The whole purpose of the stock market is to get money to the people who can make the best use of it. That is best served by having as much information available as rapidly as possible. How exactly does this ruling go anywhere near achieving this?

              • by Fjandr (66656)

                I'm glad you agree information is good for the market in general. If the court ruled against those who produce research for money, a large source of market information analysis would disappear.

                While I doubt your post was intended to agree with me, it nonetheless supports the contention that the court ruled correctly in protecting firms who spend time and money to analyze publicly available data and making it available to the public shortly after making it available to those who actually pay to have it produ

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  If they want to keep this information private then they can do so. Just don't tell anyone it, or only tell people with whom them have agreements not to disclose the information. If they also conduct no trades based on the information then no one will know it.

                  If they wish to keep the information secret they have a simple solution, do nothing with it which would require making the information public. Which is better, having less information available due to a reduction in 'research' of the market or enabling

                  • by Fjandr (66656)

                    Figuring out something nobody else realized does not equal market manipulation in any but the most twisted definitions, so you've provided a false "choice" of less information vs manipulation.

                    The ruling was about preventing business competitors from publishing data that was leaked in violation of privacy agreements, one of the "solutions" you provided in the second sentence above. You offer a solution and then oppose a ruling that upholds the legality of the solution. Inconsistent much?

                    • You assume that I propose sanctioning the person or organisation who were provided with the information (the innocent third party). If someone publishing aggregated stock tips did nothing illicit while obtaining the information then it is not them who should be prosecuted but rather whoever is responsible for leaking the information to them (almost certainly one of these tipsters clients or someone within the tipsters organisation).

                      It isn't the "figuring out something nobody else realised" that I'm calling

                    • by Fjandr (66656)

                      It's the creating stock tips, telling your clients the information then trying to keep the information you have given your clients secret by going after people who have done nothing wrong. It's the way they are publishing their results and the way in which they try to keep tha information secret that bothers me.

                      Did you read the same article I did? The ruling doesn't keep the information secret after distribution to research firms' clients. It prevents third party publication until after the firms have had a

                    • They are not violating any confidentiality agreements themselves, ergo they have (as far as I'm concerned) done nothing wrong. If you want to go after the people who violated the confidentiality agreement be my guest. When it comes to the distribution of information, especially information about the stock market, we have the err on the side of caution and where ever possible allow the information to spread.

                    • by Fjandr (66656)

                      The key difference is that your opinion on industrial espionage being okay is irrelevant to legal proceedings, as it is typically illegal to engage in industrial espionage the US. So, while you may not agree that it should be illegal, the judge was still correct to rule on the side of how the law is written rather than how certain people believe the law should be written.

                      By all means, try to get things changed so that nobody can be punished for soliciting theft of secret information and then selling it. Unt

                    • At no point did I claim that the judge made the wrong decision in interpreting the law. I'm miles away from being able to comment on that intelligently. I'm arguing for what I think the law should be and the reality it should reflect. I have no idea where you got the impression that I felt the judge made the wrong call from a legal standpoint since in another comment further up the page (not one replying to you) I specifically state that the judge may well have correctly interpreted the law.

                    • by Fjandr (66656)

                      My apologies for misinterpreting. I was limiting my comments to the merits of the ruling, not what is preferable in a better world.

            • by demigod (20497)
              insider information is almost exclusively used for short-term gains.

              I think you mean "those who are caught using insider information are almost exclusively those who use it for short-term gains." They are a lot easier to spot.

              • by Fjandr (66656)

                Inside information by its very nature isn't doesn't support long-term gains, whether a person is caught or not. It is information that needs to be acted on within a short time frame and requires the liquidation of the position after the publication of the information which causes the price swing. I can't think of a single instance where inside information would be useful in a long term stock position, but that's not to say they don't exist. I'd be interested to hear a theory on the long-term use of inside i

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Hognoxious (631665)

            Sorry to interrupt your enraged rant, but this isn't insider trading.

            If the information in question was unpublished factual knowledge (i.e owning an iPad causes/cures AIDS) then it would be.

            However it isn't, as would be obvious from reading TFA. These are tips (i.e. our boffins think that because of [econobabble here] Apple is a good buy).

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by corbettw (214229)

        Why should they have to release information to the non-paying public at the same time they release it to their paying clients? That would be like Macafee making a anti-virus update available to everyone in the world at the same time they made it available to their subscribers. That's just asinine.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        It's not a trade secret when you share ratings with your clients several hours before you release information to the public.

        Man, you should really read what you post.

        The public has absolutely no right to receive a report requested and paid for by a private entity before that private entity receives the report themselves. This is especially true if that report will eventually be made public and is potentially damaging to said entity. It's like going to a car repair shop and asking for a quote, but instead of handing you a quote they go and post your quote in the newspaper and then hand you the quote. In the mean time 20 people

    • Re:Trade Secrets? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:40PM (#31546150)

      Remember when that Hulk film from 2003 blamed the internet and texting for ruining opening it's weekend?

      Will movie studios now ask for opening weekend injunctions on news sites too from reporting on plot/story and whether it sucks or not, before most theater-goers had a chance to watch it?

      I mean, while we limit freedom of press for business concerns, we might as well see what other industries would like.

      • You should bring it up again when the case in question is about the press.

        The ruling establishes clearly that the site in question was in business competition with the banks. This was part of the "unfair competition" analysis and central to the court's conclusion. It seems unlikely (in my opinion, which is not legal advice because I am not a lawyer) that this ruling would extend to either the press or individuals who are not in competition with the originator of the information.

  • Stupidity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StylusEater (1206014)
    From the Article:

    The banks welcomed the ruling. Merrill spokesman Bill Halldin called it a "milestone in regaining control over the distribution of our proprietary research and preserving the value of our investment ideas for our clients."

    Hrm... so if I were to publish my proprietary information online, our say, outside of my house, then people read it and used it before I could make money from it I can sue them for losses? Wow! what a novel idea banks!

    I've got a better one, why don't you lock
  • Easy Solution... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:28PM (#31546070)

    Theflyonthewall.com just moves it's servers & business outside the US. I hear Antigua might be a good choice, since they've already gotten a WTO judgment against the US and so wouldn't be quick to cooperate with the US to take down the site.

    It looks like the US government is determined to drive businesses, particularly internet-based or -dependent businesses, to other countries. Then they whine about trade imbalances and people wonder why business is fleeing the US.

    Strat

    • Our lawmakers keep pandering to the big businesses/corporations/oligopolies that paid for their elections; driving the smaller businesses overseas because they can't compete when the laws are being written against them.

      Recently in california a law was being promoted (for good reason) that would bar lawmakers from directly receiving SMS from lobbyists while actually voting on laws. Now I never would have assumed the connection to be so direct as this, but at least now I know what We The People are fighting

    • by Arccot (1115809)

      Theflyonthewall.com just moves it's servers & business outside the US. I hear Antigua might be a good choice, since they've already gotten a WTO judgment against the US and so wouldn't be quick to cooperate with the US to take down the site.

      It looks like the US government is determined to drive businesses, particularly internet-based or -dependent businesses, to other countries. Then they whine about trade imbalances and people wonder why business is fleeing the US.

      Strat

      I'm not exactly boo-hooing over any movement of this website to a different country. A country shouldn't kowtow to businesses to keep them in-country. They should do what's right in the eyes of the people it represents. Or, at least that's what an idealist would say.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I know it is fashionable to claim that all this stuff is new, and that all businesses have to do if move offshore, but nothing is that simple.

      The value of stock information, AFAIR, have always been based on time. I can get all sorts of information delayed some minimum amount of time, but I have to pay to get near real time information. If I try to republish this information, I get sued. This has been the case forever. The powers that be are going to do everything they can to keep this status quo becau

  • by DaveGod (703167) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:40PM (#31546144)

    Let's be clear on this, the issue has nothing to do with having up-to-the-second stocks news or not. It has nothing to do with an RSS aggregator having a feed from a news site.

    It is about a news aggregator publicly disseminating PRIVATE information - buy/sell is professional advice and not news. Professional advice is subject to a two-party contract - it can be given confidentially. This is leaked advice.

    Usually leaks aren't much of a problem because there's copyright and so on, they can't just reproduce the detail necessary to completely steal your advice usefully. But, in this case all that's really interesting is the company name and whether the word after it is "buy" or "sell". The entirety of the substance can be in the article. Contrast this with say the problem with the leak being that it is embarrassing - here the "news" is not the substance of the advice as advice, it is the fact that it is embarrassing.

    Secondly, absolutely key to the value of that information is extreme timeliness. It only has value if you have that information before most other people, after which point the information becomes obsolete. Thirdly, the person giving the advice is also of high importance. "Sell Microsoft" has a greatly different value as information when Merrill Lynch says it than say, Bob down the pub. So people were paying thefly to get Merrill Lynch's advice more cheaply than buying it from Merrill Lynch.

    The point the judge upheld is that thefly were not announcing news, they were reproducing a private professional opinion - and an opinion that was of value because of whose it was. Nobody wanted this as some retrospective news about some event, they wanted to know this information for the exact same reason and no other reason than those for which Merril Lynch's clients were paying for it.

    This is little different than say, someone finding out the Coke formula, setting up a factory and marketing it as Coca Cola. The one difference is that in this case the product is "knowledge". The judge seems to have been quite savvy in differentiating the "product" and "knowledge" elements on the basis of the extent that timeliness was important.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      It is about a news aggregator publicly disseminating PRIVATE information - buy/sell is professional advice and not news.

      Errrm... but...

      • If I'm a CEO and my lawyer tells me to put the money I've embezzled in the Cayman Islands and the Wall Street Journal finds out about it, that's professional advice and not news.
      • If I'm the mayor of my town and my wife is leaving me because I've been philandering with prostitutes, that's private information (to the family, and pertinent to the divorce proceedings) and not news.
      • If I'm a private contractor and I'm hired by a government to write a report detailing radiation leaks in nuclear power
      • by Miseph (979059) on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:37PM (#31547140) Journal

        If only we could set up a system where intelligent, educated individuals with knowledge in both the subject at hand and the law in general could sit down and, after careful deliberation and hearing the advice of people on both sides of each issue, come to some sort of a rational decision intended to balance between competing interests.

        Perhaps we could give these individuals a fancy title, like arbiter, or decider... I don't know, something classy and prestigious to go with their important and honorable function. We should name the places and circumstances under which they operate something special, too, something that inspires respect and tradition... maybe forums? Also, we should have a bunch of levels of it, so that we can mitigate the effect any one bad decision or individual has, then let people make some sort of dispute if things aren't decided their way and they feel something wasn't appropriately dealt with.

        Anyway, it could be a really cool system. Somebody should write up a document, and we could vote on whether or not to make that the highest law of the land.

      • by Burz (138833)

        It ends... at the boundary where wealthy patrons can still use the information to easily maintain their comparative wealth. When it ceases to be a timely and valuable vehicle for Wall St. bankers and Fortune 500 CEOs to pull the wool over our eyes, then 'advice' becomes 'news' because the players have already made their move.

      • by DaveGod (703167)

        Well either you didn't read beyond paragraph 2 or you simply didn't comprehend what I meant by "Contrast this with say the problem with the leak being that it is embarrassing - here the 'news' is not the substance of the advice as advice, it is the fact that it is embarrassing."

        Perhaps I was unclear so I will attempt to demonstrate further using your scenarios:

        If I'm a CEO and my lawyer tells me to put the money I've embezzled in the Cayman Islands and the Wall Street Journal finds out about it, that's prof

    • This ruling probably is a good reading of the law as it currently is written. I can think of several possible problems with this interpretation of the law, but I can see it as correct.
      However, it destroys the theory behind the markets. In the ideal market, everybody has perfect knowledge which means they trade accordingly. The information that this ruling says is protected from distribution is important information about the correct pricing of stocks on the market. This ruling therefore insists that the ma
      • I think it comes down to this: the market players who have access to privileged information form a self contained submarket. As such, when they act (or choose not to) according to the privileged information, then their behaviour optimizes only the submarket, not the full market.

        But the justification for markets is that they optimize everybody's preferences, and here this fails (by only optimizing the preferences of a small number of players). Thus privileged information always leads to suboptimal outcomes

  • 1. There are a couple of dudes, who just make up the latest “trends”.
    2. Which of course is where they have their money in.
    3. Now the dumb people who listen to them buy those s(t)ocks.
    4. And the prophecy fulfills itself. (Yep, that’s the “...” point in all those plans.)
    5. PROFIT!

    Of course in stocks, after it starts to rise because of the dumb people, the more intelligent got a real reason to invest, and so it goes even higher. In fashion on the other hand people do it because they are such losers that they think they would be left out and not accepted otherwise.

    So it’s all rigged. But if you know a bit of social engineering, and are really full of yourself, you can be a rigger too.

    My motto: I don’t follow trends. I MAKE them. (And so should you. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dmomo (256005)

      Sure. The "couple of dudes" thing happens. But you're giving the impression that this is how the overall market works. "There's a small number of people driving the whole thing". "It's all rigged".
      No. For the most part, it's "rigged" by an amazing feedback system of entity-less market forces.
      These "couple of dudes" you speak of.. they might make out well, but, they hardly make a bump in the grand scheme. And most of these people fail.
      And the ones who succeed... I'd love to think that they are ruining th

    • My motto: I don’t follow trends. I MAKE them. (And so should you. :)

      Pump and dump??? I'm just sayin...

      • I was talking about trends in general. Fashion, humor, software...

        But yes: I am saying that 100% (yes, one-hundred percent) of the stock market trends, are created trough pump-and-dump-like schemes.
        Doesn’t matter if it’s illegal.

        • I wouldn't say 100%. It really depends on if your a long term investor, or short term trader. Sure, the stock market has always been about buying low and selling high. But, it's bench-marked against the profitability of a corporation. In my case, I've got investments tied up in my IRA (for retirement) because the company I work for is is too cheap to offer a 401K.

    • by Burz (138833)

      In fashion on the other hand people do it because they are such losers that they think they would be left out and not accepted otherwise.

      Newsflash: For the past 20 years it has been extremely unfashionable (unaccepted) to be poor or even just lower-middle class in our society. Finance may be more closely related to fashion than you say it is, except with fashion the barrier to starting ones own trends (using textiles, thread and dyes) is often much lower.

      • What does poorness have to do with fake fashion “trends”?
        Perhaps you really think there is no other way than either run around looking like crap or following those fake “trends”.
        Which means that you completely missed my point.

        As I said: Start the trends yourself!
        I made all my friends use Firefox, and wanting to use Linux, because I used it and showed them. It was so impressive, and I was so secure in my reality, that they saw it too. Hell, my desktop is so good looking that girls ask

  • > The current (well-supported) suspicion of banks and stock traders gives the whole article a sinister patina, e.g. "the banks were keeping upgrades and downgrades secret, but theflyonthewall was exposing the information before the brandy-and-cigars set could fully exploit it!"

    So we want the public to be well-informed, but not too well informed? This will let the investment bankers keep their dirty little secrets secret for just a bit longer while they offload stock. The public won't know until the stock

  • I honestly don't understand this. Can someone explain this to me: If the analysts are concerned that their information is being disseminated before they can get it to their clients, why don't they just give the information their clients earlier? If someone else can aggregate all of their data and get it out at 0700, why is it so hard for the people who -made the data- get it out at 0630?
    If someone is paying me big bucks to determine the probability that it's going to rain today I'm going to make sure they
  • Now look at our courts. Freedom of information is real good but only when it is stale and less useful! Our darling government in its infinite wisdom now decides that its feeble minded citizens must not know any information that might cause excitement or rapid action. Or is this supposedly done to help the banks, so dear to us all, for their recent sensitivities.

  • It's no big deal. They'll just need to publish them beyond the reach of the federal justice, which starts 0.0001 from the US border.
    • by SharpFang (651121)

      0.0001 AU?
      Because while theoretically out of US jurisdiction, you can still be sentenced in the US, brought in through extradiction procedures and imprisoned in US for crimes which were not crimes where you committed them.

      (...ask any pedo who came back from Thailand...)

  • I feel that society as a whole and my own safety and welfare specifically has not improved thanks to the government deciding what private citizens can and can't say (along with when they can and can't say it). I'm not much of a slippery slope guy, but I feel that ANY encroachment of the government on free speech outside of our current laws is a surefire way to fall down it.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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